There are countless saying and motivational lines out there, all plastered across sunsets and photos of happy people. Practice makes perfect. No, perfect practice makes perfect. Confidence is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. You only need to practice on days that you eat. Blah blah blah the list goes on. Personally I blame Pinterest for the explosion of “you can do it, just focus” BS that comes across my Facebook all the time. Yes, that is true. Yes, encouraging people is fantastic and something everyone should do. We should all focus on building each other up, and stop tearing each other down. Repeating lines that Marilyn Monroe may or may not have said, not so much with the useful.
Recently my boss said something to me that changed this whole game for me and I am 99% sure will stick with me for the rest of my life. You don’t practice till you get it right, you practice till you can’t get it wrong. What is the use in getting it right once if you can’t reliably repeat the results? What is the point in giving up just cause you got there, once? No, you practice till you cannot get it wrong. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about sports, technical training in school, lines for a play, music, or hobbies. You figured out how to make a trick shot work? Keep doing it till you can make it in your sleep. That cooking technique that worked so well Wednesday night? Do it again next week, and the week after that. Till you can do it from memory without fail. That tricky software program you made work on your project? Master it, so you can always make it run smoothly.
It is so tempting to just stop when you reached your goal, after all you did it! Besides, practice isn’t always fun but can be grueling and boring. Really, who doesn’t love a good victory party and pat on the back? But don’t let that moment of triumph set you up for failure later. Keep on practicing if quitting now means you will be back where you started later.
Don’t practice till you get it right, practice till you can’t get it wrong.
Love and tough love,